Reflect Emmanuel

December 02

Reflect Emmanuel is a series of Advent meditations on Emmanuel, our God with us

December 2, 2013

Sr. Susan Thornell, SND

Responsorial Psalm

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!"
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Thanksgiving is now a memory, so we start on the Advent road to Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday frantic search for the perfect Christmas gift for that special person… that wonderful party that will require a new outfit… those final exams that need to be taken before the festivities can start.

So in today’s liturgy I am reminded to stop. There is no mention of gifts, parties, or exams in today’s psalm. The message is simple, “Go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”

Years ago an elderly sister suggested to those of us who were very young, that we take a “minute vacation” each day. She said it’s just a brief time to stop and focus on something that brings us joy and revitalizes us. Advent is a good time for daily “minute vacations”… for finding some simple thing that is bigger than each of us – and allow that minute to remind us of the joy in the Season we are celebrating. It might be the smell of brewing coffee, the sound of a child giggling, the view from a window while we are standing at a copy machine, or the quick kindness of a friend who stops by to say hello. Wherever each of us discovers our “minute vacation”, let’s stop and relish the moment. I believe those moments are put there by God, and if we are aware, we can go rejoicing to the house of the Lord as Christmas Day approaches.